Presenter and author Fern Britton has launched a book club in partnership with Tesco which will exclusively recommend titles by HarperCollins' authors.
"Fern’s Picks" was announced on Thursday (28th June) on the same day as the publication of the author and presenter’s latest book, Coming Home, also published by HarperCollins.
HarperCollins struck the deal with the supermarket giant as part of its "committed growth strategy” for Britton, according to a spokesperson for the publisher.
Fern’s Picks, which will be exclusive to Tesco, feature two books a month starting from 12th July and beginning with Allison Pearson’s How Hard Can It Be? (Borough Press). Hannah Begbie’s RNA-winning debut Mother (HarperFiction) will follow on 26th July, after which Lucy Foley’s epic historical novel, Last Letter from Istanbul, (HarperCollins) will be chosen on 9th August.
Britton has written seven Sunday Times Bestsellers and was a judge for the 2018 Costa Book Awards, penning a title for this year's Quick Reads scheme.
The other titles will be revealed in due course and will initially be located in a dedicated "Fern’s Picks" space in store. All selected lines will have a "Fern’s Picks" sticker on the cover and include exclusive content.
Britton is known for TV shows such as "This Morning" and "Ready Steady Cook", and has recently embarked on an acting career with a role in Gary Barlow’s stage musical "Calendar Girls".
She said: “Books really are one of life’s greatest pleasures. There is nothing I love more than reading a brilliant book, talking to friends about it and passing it on to share the love, so I am tremendously excited to announce my new book club, exclusively with the lovely people from Tesco. I am looking forward to sharing my selections with fellow book lovers.”
Pearson added: “I’m so delighted that Fern Britton has chosen How Hard Can It Be? My novel is a tribute to the marvellousness that is the middle-aged woman, juggling teenagers and elderly parents, with lots of laughs and a few tears too. It’s a perfect fit with Fern and all the incredible mums who shop at Tesco.”
Fern's Picks joins a number of other celebrity book clubs. The Richard and Judy Bookclub has run with W H Smith for a number of years – initially the husband-and-wife team Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan coordinated it through their Channel 4 chat show and later on digital online channel Watch, before teaming up to run it with W H Smith in 2010. The pair signed a contract in 2015 to extend the club until 2019.
Another W H Smith Bookclub was launched by vlogger Zoe Sugg in 2016 although it has not run so far in 2018. Meanwhile last month children’s author Tom Fletcher unveiled the second tranche of titles in his kids book club, exclusive to W H Smith, eight months after announcing the venture with the retailer. The book club titles are promoted in-store, online and on Fletcher's YouTube channel, which has more than 634,000 subscribers.
BBC radio presenter Simon Mayo has also launched his own fortnightly book club podcast following the ending of his popular BBC Radio 2 book club in April.
Britton has old 754,276 copies for £4.6m, according to Nielsen BookScan, though her biggest seller is her autobiography My Story (Penguin) at 168,363 copies sold. For fiction, her bestseller is 2011’s New Beginnings at 87,303 copies sold.